Golden Tips Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

I’m certainly no Chai expert. In fact due to low quality bagged stuff, I have avoided it. Now that I mainly sip unflavored high quality loose leaf it just hasn’t been in my radar to drink. Until now.

I recently received a few chai samples for review. This was one of them. It is a combination of CTC and orthodox Assam. The dry scent is spicy but not too spicy. I steeped it western mug style with water. The brew is a very pretty deep orange that looks kind of burgundy under light. The flavor is a combination of clove and cardamom with cinnamon and ginger holding back a little. The ginger and pepper combine to bring a nice spicy heat to the finish. The base is smooth and slightly malty.

I next added some Splenda because I believe Chai is traditionally supposed to be sweet. This really made the flavors pop. They are more present and equal now.

Then I added milk. This doesn’t exactly muddy the flavors but they do sort of meld together. They are all there but difficult for me to separate. To me muddy implies I can’t tell what notes are present. I can here, yet they are tied to each other.

After some debate of pros and cons, I finally decided I like this best with milk and sweetener. The milk cools the spicy heat and the melding makes this so comforting. I could drink a gallon.

Turns out I kind of do like Chai, when its done right.

Mike

It’s funny you should say that, because I really, really have to be in the mood for chai to drink it, and I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a chai fan. Maybe I just need to find the right chai tea and figure out the proper preparation. :)

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82

It’s not even light out. I love the mornings on the weekends where I manage to get my aging carcass out of bed before the early birds start their peepings, especially in winter. I sit in front of an opened window by my desk and watch the day begin with a steamy cup of black tea…this morning it was chosen by name alone: Golden Tips Tea’s Doomurdullung Assam. I can’t resist anything that starts with the word Doom. :)

Dry, this leaf smells malty and sweet with the scent of dried apricots. Apricot? Yep, apricot. The wet leaf loses the fruit smell, and there the strength of the malt makes itself apparent. It is a round mouthfeel you get from this assam, with enough astringency to dry the roof of your mouth a bit when between sips. The malt here is a smoothness that sits in the middle of this tea’s simple flavor profile. There is no “doom” here….only a straightforward cup of assam to start my chilly winter’s day. I guess I’ll have to get my doom elsewhere today….

Flavors: Apricot, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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72

This was pretty good – a very mild earl grey. I prepared it with almond milk, as I still found the bergamot to be too soapy to drink plain, but felt like the darjeeling base for earl grey isn’t the best.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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74

I’m not a big fan of this one,
I loved the in your face boldness of this one as it was quite strong to me(at first)with a good bit of astringency which I also enjoyed, no bitter tho, malty, slightly fruity at times with some bready notes and some woody notes even other than that nothing very special to make note of.
Not bad but not my cup of tea.
The second and third steeps didn’t keep the in your face boldness.
Would probably be pretty good steeped one good time strong with some milk and sugar or as a base to a chai maybe.
Not bad.
Yes I posted this one twice cuz it is in here twice :)

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77

This is the most intense earl grey I have ever had bar none. Total soap without milk. I put in a lot of milk, until it tasted like a normal Earl Grey. Then it was pretty good. I might try brewing this with half the leaf next time to see if it tastes too weak or just right.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
sherapop

I always drink Earl Grey with cream. Looking forward to trying this one! ;-)

Leah Naomi

It certainly can stand up to pretty much any amount, if you brew with normal leaf and time. I normally add a dash of milk…this was probably a full third of a cup. But I am pretty sensitive to bergamot. I like earl grey, but only after I neutralize the soapiness :)

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80

This is really really good – very fresh and fruity and sweet. I wish I had tried resteeping this. I like that this tastes good hot and cold.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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60

Warm, caffeinated,
Uncomplicated, it’s a
Tea to wake up to

The wet leaves have a trace of tobacco scent, though the dull golden-brown liquor does not. Without dipping my nose in it this time, I’d say I smell no more than the typical “tea” smell with a suggestion of autumn leaves. The liquor is clear and goes down smoothly without bitterness, though there is a neutral astringency that puckers my tongue a bit.

Overall, I’d rate this an average tea. Seems to be a good “waking up” tea when you’d like to just drink something caffeinated and warm and don’t want to worry about subtleties and paying attention. It was decent on the second steep, as well.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Tea, Tobacco

Cheri

It’s a daily drinker. This one isn’t anything special.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

So glad I am not the only person that accidentally sticks their nose in their tea :P

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75

I think the name is fitting for this one. It is easy to drink, and totally unremarkable. Not astringent so even I could drink easily. A solid choice that seems hard to mess up.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65

I am trying to drink up the assams, because this subscription is really letting me know that assams aren’t my thing. I do enjoy them with milk…but that really kills any nuances in flavor. I enjoyed this very much with milk, and it was undrinkably strong and astringent for me without.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65

Thick, strong, and somewhat astringent. I am beginning to realize that I can’t drink assams without milk to help ease the bite. I imagine coffee lovers would love this.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

I am so glad this isn’t bitter. But I am surprised at how light the flavor is. It is definitely floral, but they let it stay a delicate floral, so this wouldn’t offend anyone who normally cringes at the jasmine scented teas. That said, it might actually be a bit too light for me many times. But then I can also see myself reaching for it during certain other times I might be seeking something more subtle. I imagine it would be very refreshing iced, too.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

I enjoyed this, though I’d be curious to know the herbs in it. It was very fresh, which was expected as it is green tea, but the rose was very soft and muted. It definitely had elements of other flavors which also tasted very fresh to me, but I cannot place them. It is a very smooth and easy to drink tea, but not quite “wow” enough to be a big love for me.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

Exciting, I get to be the first review. Came back from my holiday to find my samples from Cheri had reached my post box. Didn’t really drink much tea on holiday, as it was mostly bagged, and heating water on the stove took a while.

Since it’s raining today, I decided to try this one. It smells mildly malty. The flavour is a bit of malt and fruit. Good for rainy days.

Flavors: Dried Fruit, Malt

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85

Long, silvery leaf. First steep of 10 seconds reveals pleasant lemony/citrus aroma. Add a few seconds to each steep as leaves begin to open to reveal more exotic fruit aroma and gentle sweetness. This begins to take on a floral sweetness similar to white tea as it steeps out.

Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Fruity, Grass

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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68

As the name entails, the dry leaf has pretty gold mixed throughout. Being an assam, it brews up with that familiar heavy, leafy scent. It has a very pretty blood orange color. It’s a strong assam. Some astringency and some bitter, nutty flavor. I do like the full-bodied-ness of it. Don’t think I’d buy this, but I’m gonna full around with the rest of my sample and see if I can get a more pleasant brew out of it. Might be a decent base for you sugar lovers.

Flavors: Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bitter, Nutty

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Meh.

I love rose teas. This one, not so much. Something in it just tasted wrong, really wrong. Other people may enjoy this. I did not.

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Mine is actually the 2013 version, but whatever. I am too lazy to make a new entry. The description is the same.

I like this one. It’s just the right amount of fruity. The dry leaves are really pretty, just a few tips that add some really nice color.

http://instagram.com/p/vi-265AyRL/
http://instagram.com/p/vjCIeGAySO/

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92

Delicious! This darjeeling looks in the dried form and tastes upon infusion very similar to some of the Indian oolongs I’ve tried of late. Now I am regretting that I tossed the spent leaves, since it might really be a reinfusable oolong after all!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 11 OZ / 325 ML

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60

I am not the biggest fan of this one. It is nutty and roasty, but there is a definite bitterness that I don’t care for. I steeped this for a short time on a fairly cool temperature, so I was surprised it was this astringent. Not my cup of tea, literally, but I am sure a person less sensitive to astringency would like it.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65

This was tasty and drinkable, but I found it to be pretty unremarkable. It was a bit bitter, but not so much I disliked it a lot, but I have also found that any bitterness prevents me from tasting a lot of the other flavors, because I am so sensitive to bitterness alone. This is probably why I don’t appreciate the astringency in tea all that much, as it blocks out other flavor for me. I am sure many people would like this, but overall it was unremarkable to me.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I’m not sure about this tea. The dry leaf sure is pretty. The liquor sure is beautiful. The aroma is outstanding.

The tea itself…it’s a tad too astringent for me.

It’s kinda bready, but not sweet at all. And now my mouth feels funny.

http://instagram.com/p/udy9Jzgyaq/

donkeytiara

If it’s too astringent, try steeping a bit shorter time…. 3 min 30 seconds is sometimes good for the more astringent assams.

Cheri

I think I only did a 3 minute infusion as it was…. Ah well.

donkeytiara

musta been potent!! that’s a “hair on your chest” kinda assam!

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79

This is a “kick in the pants” breakfast tea. The fact that it is a CTC means not that it is a “lower grade” tea than orthodox teas….although some folks would like to believe that is the case. There is room in every tea cabinet for CTCs, and as Butiki Teas taught us with Crimson Horizon and Grandpa’s Anytime Tea, some CTCs are extraordinary.
This CTC offering from Golden Tips is a strong, full mouthfeel Assam with traditional malty notes, but also gives an unexpected note of something green….green wood perhaps? Or maybe a touch of vegetal? Not sure exactly (thanks to surgery my palate is still a bit out of whack), but this unexpected note gives the maltiness a different twist of taste. There isn’t a lot of astringency in my cup, but I short-steeped it at 2 min 30 seconds, as I didn’t need hair on my chest today. With milk and honey, this tea is a solid choice for when you hit the snooze button one too many times and now need assistance to get your motor running. I like it.

Flavors: Green Wood, Malt, Vegetal

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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70

A green tea I like! A rarity so far in my adventure, unfortunately.
Aroma
Very transparent. A little vegetal.
Flavor
Flowery is certainly the flavor they went for. Its a very mild tea, very smooth.
Notes
This was a good tea for preparing for lunch. I’m not very partial to green teas in general, so I probably wouldn’t buy more, but its one of my more yummy greens. I’d certainly recommend it, a nice alternative to jasmine green.

Flavors: Floral, Vegetal

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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60

For me, this one was not as good as some of the others I have tried from this brand. I am not a fan of astringency unless it is super mild, and this one was a hair over what I like. It is bready, but not sweet. I think I lean towards more fruity and sweet notes, which help cut any astringency. Someone who likes a bit of a “drier” taste would probably like this a lot more.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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